The UK home secretary, Priti Patel, said on 17 February at 3.17pm that the Tier 1 Investor visa system had been closed "due to security concerns," as the industry continued to absorb and react to the short notice crackdown prompted by the danger of a Russian incursion into Ukraine.
"In the tweet, she said: "I've closed the Tier 1 Investor visa with immediate effect following our review of all those granted. This is just the start of our renewed crackdown on fraud & illicit finance. Our upcoming Fraud Action Plan and the Economic Crime Bill will better protect the taxpayer."
In a more detailed statement issued on February 17, the Home Office stated that "the Home Secretary has taken decisive action to close the Tier 1 Investor visa route to all new applicants from all nationalities with immediate effect."
It's unlikely that the scheme will be replaced with an alternative at present as the closure was triggered by concerns over it being open to abuse, despite the fact that the Home Office previously reformed the scheme with a view to prevent corruption."
"The route had allowed entry and stay in the UK if an applicant invested funds in share capital or loan capital in active and trading UK registered companies, it said.
"It has been under constant review and some cases had given rise to security concerns, including people acquiring their wealth illegitimately and being associated with wider corruption.
Since the scheme began in 2008, the Home Office has issued 14,516 Russian investor visas.
By fLEXI tEAM